Cannabis Once Again Shown To Halt Cancer Growth - So Why Aren't We Studying It In Humans
August 4, 2010
[Editor's note: This post is excerpted from this week's forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML's media advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up for NORML's free e-zine here.]
The administration of THC reduces the tumor growth of metastatic breast cancer and “might constitute a new therapeutic tool for the treatment” of cancerous tumors, according to preclinical data published online in the journal Molecular Cancer.
Investigators from Complutense University in Madrid assessed the anti-tumor potential of THC and JWH-133, a non-psychotropic CB2 receptor-selective agonist, in the treatment of ErbB2-positive breast tumors – a highly aggressive form of breast cancer that is typically unresponsive to standard therapies.
Researchers reported, “[B]oth Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol … and JWH-133 …reduce tumor growth [and] tumor number [in mice]. … [T]hese results provide a strong preclinical evidence for the use of cannabinoid-based therapies for the management of ErbB2-positive breast cancer.”
In 2007, investigators at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that the administration of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid CBD limited breast cancer metastasis in a manner that was superior to comparable synthesized agents.
Previous preclinical studies assessing the anticancer properties of cannabinoids have shown that they inhibit the proliferation of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, oral cancers, lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, biliary tract cancers, and lymphoma.
Read the whole article here.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are popping up across Denver as an average of 400 people each day apply for permits to legally smoke pot. With state lawmakers talking about approving further regulations on the mushrooming industry, Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Dan Haley sat down last week with Mason Tvert, the state's leading advocate for the legalization of marijuana.
Tvert is executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), a group that has passed two pro-pot measures in Denver since 2006. He also is a co-author, along with Steve Fox and Paul Armentano, of "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Do We Drive People to Drink?" (Chelsea Green Publishing, August 2009).
Dan Haley: How did the legalization of pot become your mission in life?
Mason Tvert: My senior year in high school, I went to a country music festival and drank to the point where I nearly died. I woke up and was handed a bill and told, "Hey, you crazy kid, get on out of here." No police officer was there saying, "Who served you enough beer to kill you?" (Yet) as a freshman in college, I was scrutinized by a multi-jurisdictional drug task force for allegedly using marijuana — not even allegedly selling it. We're making alcohol use more acceptable when it's more harmful.
DH: Last week, the Obama administration said it won't prosecute medical marijuana cases in states where the practice is legal, leaving it up to states and municipalities to regulate its use. How should Colorado handle it?
MT: Colorado already has a system of regulations in place. We have limited the amount (of marijuana) they can possess. We've forced them to get a license and update their licenses every year. Just like with alcohol, if localities have "community standards" on where they allow businesses to operate ... they can say we'll only have medical marijuana dispensaries on these streets. But are they restricting access for people who are guaranteed under the state constitution the use of this medicine? In Greeley, they've banned dispensaries outright. If you live in Greeley . . . where do you go?
DH: Why shouldn't government regulate medical marijuana much like it regulates alcohol and pharmaceuticals?
MT: They should. All marijuana being grown for medical purposes, if they're following state law, is being grown in Colorado by a licensed caregiver. Every person is registering with the state of Colorado — that's regulation. Every patient is getting a license.
Face The Inquisition
The Huffington Post
Drug Truth Network Reporter
Posted: July 20, 2009 12:22 PM
Tomas de Torquemada was known as "The hammer of heretics," "the light of Spain," "the saviour of his country," and "the honour of his order." Barbaric he may have been and was in fact the very heretic he was looking for, but he destroyed less than 2,000 lives during his 15 years as the grand inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition.
Today's "compassionate" drug warriors have fractured the futures and pulverized the possibilities of more than 37,000,000 US citizens for the crime of possessing plant products and are responsible for tens of thousands of lives lost each year to the folly of their policy. Drug Czars are continuously lauded with platitudes and praise by their fawning minions; far more than was ever heaped on the head of Torquemada.
Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, "...exerted totalitarian control over the media, arts, and information in Germany. In that position, he perfected an understanding of the "Big Lie" technique of propaganda, which is based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses." - (Wikipedia)
The drug war is the first war ever declared for eternity and for nearly 100 years, we have had our own US drug war propaganda ministers; first with the director of the Bureau of Narcotics on through the more recent series of drug czars that blatantly lie for a living. It's actually in their contracts, to forbid, dissuade, prevent or otherwise deny any talk of legalization and as stated most recently by the new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, they will continue, hell or high-water and per Presidential guidelines to 'believe' that "legalization is not in my vocabulary".
Read the whole article here.
Published: July 19, 2009
Should we be congratulating pot smokers and jailing drinkers? A new book will make the argument that marijuana is a far safer recreational substance than alcohol, and that our national policies should be adjusted to reflect that.
Chelsea Green Publishing in White River Junction plans a July 27 release for "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?"
It promises to compare and contrast the relative harms of the two substances — both on personal health and community safety — and examine the laws and social practices that steer people toward alcohol. The authors offer a primer on the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, "debunk the government's most frequently cited marijuana myths," says the publisher.
Indeed, the book is designed not just to inform but to, you might say, light a fire under potential pro-marijuana activists. It lays out "talking points" that advocates of marijuana-law reform can use on friends, family, colleagues and elected officials. Its authors represent three organizations dedicated solely to marijuana policy reform: the Marijuana Policy Project, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation.
Those last two go by the acronyms NORML and SAFER.
We're waiting for a group to lay claim to the name DUDE.
Summit Daily News
By CODY R. OLIVAS
Saturday, June 13, 2009
BRECKENRIDGE — A group called Sensible Breckenridge is working to give town voters the chance to change local marijuana laws.
The group plans to gather signatures for a ballot initiative for the November election. The aim would be an ordinance to remove all criminal penalties from Breckenridge's town code for the private use of marijuana, under one ounce, by adults 21 and older. Smoking in public and drugged driving would remain illegal.
Breckenridge's Chief of Police Rick Holman opposes the initiative. “I worry about the collateral affect of the youth of the community,” he said.
If the initiative did pass, marijuana would still be illegal under Colorado State law and federal law. Holman said his department would have the discretion to enforce those laws, but wouldn't comment if they would use that discretion because he said he didn't know.
“Obviously we're a police department that's here to service the needs of the community and often times cater toward those needs and what we see as priorities,” Holman said.
The initiative wouldn't affect the Sheriff's Department, which is bound to uphold state law.
The petitioners' committee filing the affidavit is comprised of a number of local leaders including Breckenridge Town Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron and local attorney Sean McAllister.
“It's a cause I believe in, and I think the initiative reflects the will of the people of Breck,” Bergeron said. “I don't think there's any public safety concerns in regards to an adult possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.”
“The main issue is marijuana is safer than alcohol,” said Sensible Breckenridge's Josh Kappel.
“Alcohol is far more toxic than marijuana; there has never been a death reported from a marijuana overdose,” said Mason Tvert, co-author of the forthcoming book, “Marijuana is Safer: So Why do We Drive People to Drink?”
Holman said they're both problematic. “It's no safer to get behind the wheel of a car if you smoke a joint than drink,” he said. Although during winter nights, when more people are in Breckenridge, Holman said drinking is the primary problem.
Read the whole article here.
Coloradans report drinking less, smoking more pot
By Joey Bunch
The Denver Post
Posted: 06/04/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 06/04/2009 10:09:10 AM MDT
Coloradans say they are doing less hard drinking than they did in the past few years but say they are more likely to smoke pot, according to a two-year federal assessment to be released today.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found Colorado was the only state to log a decrease in those who think they are at risk to binge- drink since the last study completed in 2006, from 29.8 percent in the previous study to 25.8 percent in the most recent.
Meanwhile, Colorado is one of seven states that notched "significant" increases in teens and adults who say they are more likely to smoke pot at least once a month than those who participated in the last government survey.
"We've been saying for some time that many adults want a safer alternative to drinking," said Mason Tvert, executive director of the Denver-based pot-legalization group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, which has passed two pro-pot public votes in the city since 2006.
The increase in stoners could logically be tied to the rocky economy, said Tvert, co-author of a book to be released in August that measures the economics of getting buzzed, "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Do We Drive People to Drink?"
"The price of pot is inflated because of criminalization," he said. "Still, people seeking to get intoxicated perceive they get a better deal sitting at home smoking a little pot than going out and spending $30 at a bar to get drunk."
Art Hughes, a statistician who worked on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study, cautioned against sweeping new characterizations from the most recent report, however.
"This isn't really new news to Colorado, per se," he said of the state's use of drugs and alcohol, with a growing favor toward pot.
The report also indicates Colorado leads the nation in the increase in people 12 or older who smoked a tobacco cigarette in the previous month, from 26.5 percent to 29.8 percent.
The report also puts Colorado among the top 10 states for:
• The highest illicit-drug use in every age category.
• Failure of teens and adults who need alcohol treatment to receive it.
• Survey takers using cocaine in the past year.
The survey indicates 8.1 percent of the U.S. population 12 or older used illegal drugs in the previous month, down slightly from the previous two-year measure.
Iowa had the lowest estimate, at 5.2 percent, and Rhode Island had the highest, 12.5 percent.
Marijuana is the most popular illicit drug nationwide, as an estimated 10.2 percent of teenagers and adults used it at least once in the previous year, the survey found.
Alcohol is still, by far, the vice of choice among Americans, however. The survey found 51 percent had a drink in the past month, while 5.9 percent used marijuana during that span.
The findings are based on hour-long interviews with more than 135,000 randomly selected people nationwide.
The report doesn't offer advice but provides local, state and national policymakers and agencies data on the issues they are addressing, to make more informed decisions, Hughes said.
The report and raw numbers for each state, to be released today, will be posted at oas.samhsa.gov/2k7state/TOC.cfm.
What Would Happen if Marijuana Were Decriminalized? A Freakonomics Quorum
The New York Times
By Stephen J. Dubner
May 22, 2009, 11:49 am
Two years ago we ran a quorum debating the pros and cons of decriminalizing marijuana. Since then, a largely theoretical debate has moved quite substantially toward the realm of reality, with a growing number of states and municipalities having changed their laws. The details from place to place vary greatly and are very much a patchwork; the most prominent state to make a move is Massachusetts. The California legislature, meanwhile, is wondering whether marijuana could save its economy — which, as we read just this morning, is badly in need of saving.
Although President Obama doesn’t seem interested, arguments in favor of decriminalization are popping up everywhere, from the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition platform to the senior thesis of a graduating economics major at Brown named Max Chaiken, which finds that “a legally taxed and regulated marijuana market could generate upwards of $200 billion annually in excise tax revenues for the federal government … [which] would be enough to fund Medicaid.”
So we asked a group of people — Paul Armentano, Mike Braun, Joel W. Hay, Jeffrey Miron, and Robert Platshorn — to think about a national decriminalization of marijuana (unlikely, let’s be honest) and answer the following: What would be some of the most powerful economic, social, and criminal-justice effects?
Here are their answers. As you will see, consensus on this issue is now — and will probably always remain — elusive.
Paul Armentano is deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and co-author of the forthcoming book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?.
Last November, U.S. law enforcement made its 20 millionth marijuana arrest since 1965. Yet today, almost 90 percent of teens report that pot is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain, and nearly one out of two graduating high-school seniors admit to having tried it.
Clearly it’s time to try another approach.
The enforcement of marijuana prohibition is an archaic, overly punitive, and ineffective policy that carries with it a staggering array of social and economic costs. According to the FBI, in 2007 police made a record 873,00 marijuana arrests — 9 out of 10 of them for pot possession, not trafficking, cultivation, or sale. A disproportionate number of those arrested were African Americans and Hispanic males. Some 75 percent of those arrested were under age 30. In short, our criminal justice policies are alienating millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens while creating widespread disrespect for the rule of law among minorities and young people.
It’s also costing us money we can no longer afford. According to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron, it costs taxpayers at least $7 billion per year to pay for the arrest and prosecution of pot offenders. Taxpayers pay another $1 billion per year to house the estimated 50,000 state and federal inmates serving time for pot, according to data derived from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Conversely, a recent George Mason University report estimates that taxing the production and sale of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol could potentially raise $31 billion in new revenue while reallocating existing police and prosecutorial resources toward more serious crimes. In California alone, data provided by the State Board of Equalization and Taxation — which has endorsed legalizing the adult use of cannabis — estimates that regulating pot would yield over $1.3 billion annually in new state tax revenue.
This policy would have the added benefit of removing the production and trafficking of pot out of the hands of drug cartels and other criminal entrepreneurs and placing it under the control of state-licensed establishments — which would operate in accordance to government regulations and community standards.
Naturally, critics of this alternative inevitably argue that such a policy would increase Americans’ use of pot — an outcome that they believe negates the social, economic, and criminal justice benefits that would be associated with regulating cannabis like booze. NORML disagrees on both counts.
First, the use of pot by adults is objectively safer to the individual, and to society as a whole, than the use of either alcohol or tobacco, whereas the continued criminal prohibition of pot causes innumerable and far greater harms.
Further, the great irony of our existing policy is that nearly half of all Americans — including our nation’s three most recently elected U.S. presidents — have used, and many continue to use, pot despite the imposition of prohibition. Would this percentage be even higher if marijuana were legalized? Possibly, but not likely.
As noted in the opening paragraph, almost every U.S. teen (or adult for that matter) can already access pot if he or she wants to. Yet despite this practically unfettered access — many surveys now indicate that it’s harder for young people to acquire booze than weed — many Americans choose never to try marijuana, and most are not regular users. Similarly, in the Netherlands, where the sale and use of marijuana is legal to those over age 18, the use of pot by the Dutch is far less common than in America. In short, the use of marijuana is not for everybody — or even most people — and that fact is not going to change, regardless of American pot policy.